"I was passed around from pillar to post as I tried to get further transport arranged"

About: South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust / Patient transport service (PTS)

(as a service user),

I had an appointment at the Disability Service Centre at Southmead and had ambulance transport to get me there and back.

Getting to the centre was fine; I had arranged to be picked up again at 1: 00pm after my treatment. However, I was not ready when they came to collect me, they could not wait and after that I waited from 1: 00pm – 5: pm before I was collected and taken home. I was passed around from pillar to post as I tried to get further transport arranged.

This is the second time this has happened to me.

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Response from Sara Coburn, Patient Engagement Manager, Governance, South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust

Hi Leaf288

Thank you for sharing your story with us - I am very sorry to hear about your delay in waiting for transport.

Our Patient Transport Service is predominantly a pre-planned service; we work to a schedule planned the day before. This is to ensure that we utilise our transport as efficiently as possible and that everyone gets a vehicle that is suitable for their care needs and their mobility at the required time.

Without specific information it is difficult to comment fully on the details you have given but what is likely to have happened is that your transport had to be re-booked on the day in question. This may have been because you were delayed in clinic past the time that your scheduled return transport was booked for. Most clinics are able to book their patient’s transport with a known return time based on how long they expect them to be in hospital. As a predominately pre-planned service any re-bookings have to then be fitted in to our already organised schedule. Our contractual obligations for these types of bookings are to pick up within 4 hours and 45 minutes of receiving the request. I understand that this situation can be frustrating, but please be assured that our staff will do their best to get you home as safely and quickly as possible.

Please accept our apologies once again for the delay you experienced and I hope this explanation goes some way to giving you an understanding of what may have happened. We would be very to look into the events surrounding your journey. If you would like us to do this, please contact our Patient Experience Team on either 01392 261 585 or patientexperience@swast.nhs.uk and one of my colleagues would be very happy to help you.

Thank you, again, for taking the time to provide us with feedback.


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